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Fellow monks,

I came online in an eager mood this morning, on top of the world and ready to help and to try and do some good wherever I could. Unfortunately my help and advice isn't always top notch right now as I am still pretty much a newbie to Perl myself. Of course I try not to let this stop me from applying what little I do know to help when I can... but I realised after a particularly poor personal response to a thread earlier today that maybe I shouldn't have tried to answer the problem at all - maybe instead I should've remained quiet.

It got me to thinking about the value of my posting here. Being fairly new to the community perhaps I should limit myself to just posting questions and only answering when I am 100% sure I'm correct. Is it right to venture opinions which may turn out to be incorrect? (or vastly incorrect ;)). Is it more to the benefit of the community for everyone to see everyone else's mistakes being corrected in the public forum?

Before anyone asks, I am purposefully avoiding any question of node reputation in valuing posts so as not to stray from the thoughts I am meditating about and towards other topics such as the oft brought up experience system :)

Is there a benefit to the community when novice posters try to help and answer questions even if they happen to supply an incorrect answer? Do such postings hinder or help the community? Obviously there are extremes to both sides of this argument, but ignoring exceptions like these which can't truly be controlled - unless your name is nodereaper I guess! - do such postings help perlmonks in general?

The points I'm really trying to meditate on and perhaps discuss are these... Is it worthwhile for those of use with less Perl experience to try and help out? I know in my case my incorrect postings have led to a personal gain in knowledge, but does this help or hinder others?

Do the more experienced perlmonks roll their eyes and think "not again!" or are they happy to help and teach those of us who are newer and perhaps missed some of the nuances, however basic?

I guess my final meditation must be, where do we draw the line? At what stage does opinion override knowledge and render it worthless?

I'd appreciate reading other monks' thoughts on this topic!

In reply to Newbies, trying to help, and where to draw the line? by Nemp

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